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May 28, 2017

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Nobel winner backs Buddhist art exhibit at Fo Guang Shan

The "Buddhist Art Along the Silk Road" launched its opening ceremony to the press yesterday with the 2012 Literature Nobel Prize for Literature winner Mo Yan (莫言) showing his support through a video clip.

The exhibition, which will take place from Sept. 14 to Dec. 18, will be hosted at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center by the Humanistic Culture and Education Foundation and the Fo Guang Shan Foundation for Buddhist Culture & Education.

According to the organizer, there will be 131 Buddhist art pieces from Shaanxi, Gansu, and Xinjiang provinces, presenting a remarkable display of artistic exchange along the Silk Road.

The exhibition organizer said that the Buddhist art pieces displayed at the exhibition this time include various Buddha statues, the earliest proven piece of clothing with Buddha painted on it and a Buddhist relic container from the Han Dynasty.

Mo Yan, who is scheduled to visit Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center on Sept. 15, showed his support as well as helped promote the exhibition.

"Buddhism has become a foundation for Chinese culture," Mo Yan said, "and after this religion has been passed down for thousands of years, it has become part of everyone's daily life."

"Buddhism is actually within many people's thoughts and also within the standard of morality in Chinese culture," said Mo Yan.

"Even though Buddhism did encounter some difficulties after being introduced into Chinese culture," Mo Yan said, "as a practice, it has never been cut off from the nation's culture."

Mo Yan said that today, Chinese people do not consider Buddhism to be from a foreign or outside culture. In fact, it has become a very important part of Chinese civilization and culture.

As an author, Mo Yan said that because he grew up in a culture that is heavily influenced by Buddhism, he usually includes Buddhist theories like the extension of sympathy toward all creatures and a connection to nature in his work.

"Much Chinese literature also presents or embodies Buddhist theories because most of us have Buddhist genes within our blood," Mo Yan said.

According to the exhibition organizer, 19 out of the 131 Buddhist art pieces are classified as items of national heritage, which makes this exhibition a must-see event for people who want to better understand the history and trajectory of how Buddhism was introduced into China and how it later became an intrinsic part of Chinese culture.

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